In the 2000s Turkish drama series began airing in Saudi Arabia and other countries outside Turkey. Perhaps unexpectedly they have proven exceptionally attractive to global audiences. Typically, these dramas define and present female characters who can be considered liberal in terms of their adherence to traditional cultural values. To date, despite the growing popularity of these Turkish drama series abroad, research into the attitudes and behaviours of Saudi women who watch such dramas has been limited. The present study evaluates the influence of Turkish drama series on the perceptions and attitudes of Saudi female viewers, drawing on social identity theory and cultivation theory perspectives. For the study, 1274 online questionnaires were completed by Saudi female viewers aged from 20 to 60. The results revealed three different groups of attitudes associated with sociocultural values. Firstly, acceptance or otherwise of ‘independent and self-reliant women’ and their ‘ability to survive without a man’. Secondly, rejection of ‘other’ socio-cultural values, such as (1) ‘Having a child outside of marriage’, (2) ‘marital infidelity’, (3) ‘restricting religion to older people’, (4) ‘presenting alcohol consumption’, (5) ‘women getting married without permission’, and (6) ‘couples dating’. Finally, thirdly, neutral attitudes towards ‘friendships between couples’, ‘traditional roles of women as mothers and wives’ and ‘fighting for love’.
Merfat Alardawi, King Abdulaziz University, Saudi Arabia
Patrick Brereton, Dublin City University, Ireland
Ayman Bajnaid, King Abdulaziz University, Saudi Arabia
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